Having an emergency supply list in your home is an important first step to being prepared for any disaster. Most of us never think about what we might need in an emergency, and this is why having a list is so critical. It may seem like common sense, but you’d be surprised how many people do not keep their emergency supplies on hand. Some people even go months without any type of emergency supplies at all. If you have a plan, you are half way there to disaster preparedness!
Many people underestimate the value of a list. Think about cars, toothbrushes, blankets, flashlights, toiletry bags, etc. These are all things that you might not think about every day, but they can be very valuable should the need arise. Your list needs to include things for all areas of your life, and these include your personal needs as well. For example, you may have a list of things such as food and water, but did you include personal care products such as lotions and perfume?
There are many other categories that fall under the category of emergency supplies, including some of the more forgotten things, like flashlights. Flashlights tend to get overlooked in most homes, but they are an important part of emergency supplies. There are two main types of flashlights, rechargeable or battery powered, and permanent light sources. Both are important, and it is usually a good idea to have one in the car or for use in the house if you have access to it.
Your list of emergency supplies should also include medicines. In some situations, it might be easy to get by with over the counter medicines, but other situations will call for stronger medicines. For example, it might be tempting to buy cough syrup as a quick fix for an allergy attack, but if you have an allergy to wheat, chances are you are allergic to something in the wheat, which can make you weak. It is important to be able to replace these needed items quickly and easily with stronger medication.
Another item on your list of emergency supplies is water. Whether it is for yourself or someone else, you need water. When preparing a list, be sure that there is a water supply available, and that you include drinking water, which might not be as easy to come by as water from the tap. You might also consider having some water storage on hand. You might also consider having a supply of water in a container that you keep filled with water in case the power goes out.
A final item on your list should be medications. This might seem a little surprising, since most people see prescription medicines on their grocery list. However, having some ready to take when emergencies strike is a good idea, and many of the most common emergency medicines can actually be stored in your home, and included on your list of emergency supplies.
If you are like most people, the list of emergency items that you keep might be too short. In this case, it might be helpful to make a larger list of possible emergencies. Consider making several lists – one for disasters, one for each region of the country, and one for disasters specific to your city. Then, consider what disasters you might expect to happen in your area and how likely they are to occur. That will allow you to make a more complete list of items.
Remember, keeping a list of emergency supplies for survival is just the first step in preparing for a disaster. You will also need to consider making an inventory of all of the materials you have, including those that are not necessarily emergency supplies. Many of the materials you will need in a disaster are not classified as emergency supplies. For example, if you are living in a tent in the middle of a desert and need food and water, you probably do not need to stock tin cans and other supplies that might only be useful for a few days. With a little planning, you can make sure that you have everything you could possibly need to survive for a week or longer.